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I went to Jeanty at Jack's for the first time last night. The restaurant is located on Sacramento above Montgomery. Parking is available next to the restaurant for $10.

The restaurant presents as a casual Parisian Bistro. Jeanty cleaned up the interior of the restaurant however it still reminds me of how the prior Jack's appeared after it was remodeled in 1996. Service was somewhat slow.

Some tables are so close together that it is impossible not to hear snippets of conversation from other diners. In fact in the middle of the meal, a diner from another table across from me answered a question I asked of my dinner companion. Dining on the second floor of the restaurant is recommended to avoid this problem.

While the food is for the most part upscale bistro fare, the prices are more in line with a higher level of cuisine. Dinner for two (two courses and a shared single cheese course) with a $88 bottle of wine and tap water came to $198.

The food was well executed and enjoyable. Sweetbreads and rabbit with truffle oil was excellent although the portion was small ($24). A single cheese course of L'epoisse ($9) was excellent. The cheese was very mature - a bit of a risk on Jeanty's part since Americans for the most part still prefer cheese to be less than optimally mature. Escargot was served still in their shells ($12) and were well prepared. Steak tartare ($16) was enjoyable but is really better suited as a first course as opposed to an entree. Seasonal salads were forgettable for the most part.

The wine list is priced favorably and includes a large and varied selection ranging from cheap Cotes du Rhone to three mature Domaine de la Romanee Conti Red Burgundies. A number of rarities were available on the list at reasonable prices.

Overall an enjoyable experience. Not a value (for a little more one can obtain a much higher level of cuisine), but the restaurant delivers on what it promises.
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Good write up Jones. Haven't been there yet, but have been to Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. Recently went to Acme Chop House at Pacbell park, before a giants game. Started with Steak Tartare (amazing how this is coming back) very good. Went on to warm spinach salad, and finished with the new york steak and the scalloped potatoes. All very well prepared. Not cheap, since all the sides are extra (like all steak houses). We brought some great wines. Started with a Chambolle Musigny, then a '94 Pichon Lalande, '90 Pavie, '90 Ridge Lytton Zin and finished with an '82 Ch. du Tertre. The Pavie won the night. They were great and didn't charge corkage (we did give a glass of each to the Gen. manager and the chef. And the Giants won! What can be better?
Have been there a couple times--both on the top floor, which is less confining than the mezz and the 2nd floor. I rather prefer the rustic, back room ambience of Yountville, but I would also recommend the top of floor of the Jack's location.

The "Crab Caesar" is a bit of a puzzle, and not sure if it will surivive. The boneless pig feet seemed less seasoned than at Yountville, but still quite tasty. The rabbit/sweetbreads were bathed in a spicy thyme-based sauce, and the monkfish in a bouillabaise broth was as good as the one in YV.

On both occasions their dramatic crepe was a bit too dry, and we mentioned it to the server.

We ordered a couple of the Crus Beaujolais, and at the price they were quite complimentary to the food.

The place will be quite popular, and it's satisfying to see Phillipe succeed after being dumped by Dom Chandon several years ago.

t.
I went to Osteria for dinner tonight. Osteria is a fairly small neighborhood italian restaurant located in Pacific Heights at the border of Presidio Heights (corner of Presidio and Sacramento). Street parking is all that is available and it is generally difficult but not impossible.

The restaurant presents as a single room holding approximately 40 people. While from the street the restaurent looks fairly non-descript, the interior is well lit and inviting in a clean modern Tuscan style. Most of the patrons are older monied residents of the area.

The wine list while quite limited is very reasonably priced. Corkage is $10 per bottle.

Courses are very reasonably priced for this part of the City. Artichoke hearts and shrimp in a basil dressing ($8) is surprisingly enjoyable with clean fresh and direct flavors that exemplify italian cuisine. Classic french cuisine makes an unusual appearance as sole meuniere ($15). The sole was generously portioned and the sauce was balanced and not cloying (as it often can be). Veal tortellini was freshly made and the sauce was much more authentically italian then one generally fins in the states. Again, it was reasonably priced at $12.

For three with tap water and bringing one bottle of wine in the cost was only $97 after tip. Extremely reasonable for Pacific Heights. Service was efficient and friendly. Three glasses of Graham's Six Grapes Port were provided at the end of the meal on the house.

The restaurant is exactly what one looks for in a quality high level neighborhood restaurant. Its reasonable prices only make it more attractive. Recommended.

[ 05-02-2002, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
Jones, good to see your posts on SF restaurants, especially neighborhood ones. Ate at Florio's in the Fillmore district since one of the part owners, Barnaby Conrad, mentioned it - fun place, good food. We have two relatively new neighborhood restaurants in Danville - 301 Bitro and La Salamandre. Both are excellent, although only had a preset brunch at the latter. At the former, my wife had ostrich, my friend from Italy had venison and I had the rack of lamb. They said that you have to eat the ostrich rare or medium rare and match wines like you are eating beef. All three were outstanding. Total bill including tip was $181 for 3 including a $50 bottle of wine.
I am a huge fan of ostrich and I don't understand why it is not more readily available at restaurants. I have heard good things from friends in the East Bay about La Salamandre.

I am looking forward to tomorrow's dining impression at Julia - Julia McClaskey's, late of Dine, new restaurant in lower Pacific Heights (if you live nearby) or Western Addition/Japantown (if you don't). The restaurant just opened yesterday and I loved her cuisine at Dine so I have high expectations.
I went to Julia last night. Overall, I think the restaurant is doing a fine job especially in light of the fact that it has only been operating for a few days.

The place was packed and unfortunately we did not sit down for dinner until 30 minutes after our scheduled reservation. Valet parking is available and only costs $7. The interior of the restaurant is either "eclectic" if you like it or "jumbled" if you don't. Lots of competing themes are present in the decor from a touch of French boudoir to Americana to nautical. The restaurant is a little dark and tables could use added illumination. Tables also need to be rearranged to better take into account the staff's work pattern. Clientele has more than its fair share of "Sex and the City" types. The noise level was loud but that is to be expected on a Friday night.

Service was friendly. Some courses came out from the kitchen in staggered order - a problem that will probably resolve in time. A request for a menu substitution was handled well.

The wine list had some interesting selections but is priced unattractively. Wine brought in to the restaurant was handled well. Corkage is a reasonable $15. Wine glasses however need work. The bowls are much to small for fine wine.

The cuisine however was both exceptional and very reasonably priced. For 4 with $30 for corkage, tap water, two courses per person, tax, and a generous tip, the tab came to $190. A great value indeed.

A starter of seared chicken liver with bitter greens, bacon (Hobbs?), and warmed marinated grapes was a perfect blending of tastes and textures. Priced at $6 it was the bargain of the night. Thin asparagus served with brioche pudding and braised pork belly ($9) also showed the kitchen's skill with non standard meats. Creamed cauliflower soup served with one seared day boat scallop ($6.50) was exceptionally pure and not at all heavy.

Main courses continued to impress. Braised short ribs in Chipotle sauce served with mashed potatoes and marinated slaw shows how good properly executed comfort food can be. At $20 it is is a bargain for the quality. Portion size was very generous. The grilled ribeye ($25) was a good piece of beef but needed salt. The only disappointment of the evening came from a slightly over cooked (served medium rather than rare) tuna served with a black olive tapenade ($21). Not bad but it paled in comparison to the other dishes.

I was impressed with the food and prices of the restaurant. Highly recommended.
I went to Sociale for dinner for the fourth or so time last night. Since the place opened last year, it has really improved. I recommend it as a moderately high end neighborhood restaurant. The only real problem with the place is that it is so popular that unless you have reservations you can't just drop in and get a table unless it is early in the evening.

Sociale is located on Sacramento in the middle of Presidio Heights. It is situated in the middle of a courtyard and therefore there is little to no traffic/city noise. It reminds me as more of a Berkeley restaurant than San Francisco. Parking is street only and is not that difficult on a relative basis.

Service is friendly and if anything over attentive. The wine list includes approximately 75 bottle with reasonable markups. The list is weighted toward unusual California bottlings and Italian selections.

Overall cost of the restaurant is pretty good. For two with tap water, two courses, espresso and a $33 half bottle of Barolo the cost was $130. Starters included quite authentic flash fried baby artichokes for $7.95 and a lobster canneloni in yellow tomato sauce for $10. Recommended main courses include lamb chops (two double chops appropriately served blood rare) with spring onion risotto ($20) and classic chicken under brick ($15). Roasted Halibut in red wine vinegar sauce ($19) shows the kitchen's skill with a preparation that can easily be off.

Overall, this wine continues to show improvement and can now be recommended without reservation.
$30 per is a great price for that wine.

Julia is at the corner of Sutter and Steiner. Reservations are a must. The top of Nob Hill is about 15 blocks away.

If you are staying in Nob Hill and you want a top of the line dining experience while staying in Nob Hill then I strongly recommend Charles Nob Hill at the corner of Jones and Clay. Reservations are basically essential.
Board-o Fringale is very nice but isn't quite what is was. Still pretty good though. I've been to Plumpjack for lunch and it is nice, I have never been for dinner. If you purchase a bottle of wine at the Plumpjack wineshop there is no corkage fee.

JW1, is Julia in the old Tre Fratelli spot?

Mountainman, there is a "where san francisco" at:

http://web8.winespectator.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000091

Several folks posted to this (including JW1 and myself) with suggestions.
Fringale offers honest french cuisine. I have not been there in awhile because of its location.

Plumpjack Cafe is a regular stop for me. The wine list is outstanding and many wines are offered at retail. The new chef is doing well but I enjoyed Keith Luce cuisine more. Luce has opened a fairly new small italian restaurant called Merenda on Union Street. I recommend that restuarant as well (although the wine list is marginal - they promise to improve it soon).

Mountainman. I didn't purchase the Neyers that evening (I brought in a 99 Ode to Picasso). However Neyers Syrah has never disappointed me and I buy it every year without hesitation.
Went to Jeanty's @ Jacks for Lunch today (but didn't go back to work). We ate at the bar as that was the quickest way to get a table and we had no reservation. I had a tomoato soup with puff pasty covering. The pastry was very good, light a tasty. One problem was getting through it for the first cut to open things up. The bowl was very hot. I should have been given a knife. For the main course I had the beef stew which was fantastic. The beef was very tender and ready to just fall apart. The peas and carrots were not overdone and the mashed potatos were nice and smooth (I don't like them lumpy). Better than moms (and stew was something should could cook pretty darn good). I'd give Jeanty @ Jacks a thumbs up and will probably try it for dinner sometime.
Had dinner at the Village Pub in Woodside, CA last night and had a great meal. Started with 1995 Veuve Cliquot Champagne, very nice, but not great. I started with Sweetbreads and a poached egg over pea shoots with lardons, wonderful. Mrs. G. started with a beet and morel salad also great. Then I went on to the Quail and porcini mushrooms, great and Mrs. had the Black Sea Bass with favas. Washed this all down with a 99 Pommard from Dom. Monthelie, nice but very young and not showing much fruit at this point. Dessert was a chocolate pot de creme. Overall very good meal, but expensive. Will return. This weekend, heading up to Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, can't wait.

[Big Grin]
Well, was up in Healdsburg this last weekend and ate at Dry Creek Kitchen. This is the new Charlie Palmer place in the new hotel on the plaza. Have to say was underwhelmed. The restaurant itself is beautiful, but noisy. The wine list is very nice, but all Sonoma wines. They have some Marcassin and Kistlers at very high prices (as one would expect). Had a glass of some Sparkling Wine which is made for them, and this is where I wish they had Champagne. Nothing beats French Champagne. Started with seared sea scallop with caviar and then had a trio of soups, only one of which was very good. Then I had the Soft shelled crab with pea shoots. All very nice, but not what I expected of this restaurants' already high reputation. Service is very good and attentive. Then at the end of the meal find out I can't have a Calvados, since they don't have a liquor license. The big beautiful bar is full of wine bottles! Won't return soon.
I went to Charles Nob Hill last night. The restaurant was about half full. Charles is located at the corner of Clay and Jones in Nob Hill. Charles is a small restaurant consisting of two rooms. The front room is smaller and seats about 20. The back room seats 30 or so and is decorated in more somber tones than the front room. I prefer dining in the back room.

Valet parking is available and is a must ($8). Corkage is $25 (and the restaurant does not waive the fee if one buys a bottle off of the list - I am really not a fan of that practice). The wine list lots of rare finds and is not any more over priced the other restaurants of this level (for example, it is much cheaper then Danko's which imo is obscene). More half bottles especially of whites is needed however.

The nine course tasting menu is recommended if one has the time. Cost is $100 and worth it. Each diner gets a different course thus for a table of two you get 18 courses. Since it was a school night, we ordered a la carte. Main course prices have been reduced. Most entrees ar now between $28 and $32. Appetizers are mainly in the $15 to $20 range.

Amuse bouche was a (served way too hot) demitasse of very rich porcini mushroom and lobster broth. Cream of white asparagus with purple aspargus and parmegiano reggiano shavings was executed extremely well ($10). Getting to taste more than a half spoonful was impossible thus my companion thought the soup was excellent as well. I started with butter poached lobster in an english pea emulsion ($20). The lobster was perfection and further solidifies my feelings that the best way to prepare and serve lobster is via butter poaching. A main course of tuna and puy lentils was hearty and perfectly prepared ($32) but lacked a little excitement especially when compared to the other main course - Lamb. The lamb ($40) came to the table prepred in four ways - pasta was stuffed with braised lamb and truffles, two baby lamb chops were perched on arugula, tenderloin, and a tbone. Simply magnificent and it is tough to imagine a better lamb course that I have had recently.

Cheese plate was well done at reasonable at $12. Three cheeses came with individual accompaniements to highlight aspects of the cheese. Humboldt Fog (a great cheese but in danger of becoming almost cliche), red hawk, and magnum were what was available last evening. I

Overall, a fantastic dining experience in a elegant room where one can actually hear themselves think. Highly recommended.

[ 05-31-2002, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
I dined at Chez Spencer last night. Chez Spencer opened two weeks ago in the original location of Citizen Cake on 14th at Folsom. Laurent Katgely, late of Foreign Cinema and Alfy's, is the chef/owner.

The building was originally an auto repair shop. Despite its humble origins, I really like the space. 30 foot high ceilings. Modern yet surprisingly comfortable furniture. The restaurant concept takes open air kitchens to the extreme with a large pizza oven placed literally in the middle of the space. As a result, diners are interspersed with the kitchen throughout the space.

Prices range from between 10 to 16 for appetizers and 19 to 27 for entrees. The restaurant has no liquor license so at present it is byob with no corkage being charged. Seared foie gras with an apricot tart was an excellent well balanced starter. Lobster with avocado was bland and skimpy. I loved the classic french salad of greens, poached eggs, and lardon. White asparagus with black truffles needed more black truffles.

Entrees consisted of a very generous portion of rack of lamb coupled with potato pave and wild greens. A great dish indeed. Wood oven roasted squab with morels came to the table over sauced and the morels were reconstituted dried morels - a no no in my book consiodering the cost ($27) of the entree. Wild mushroom risotto was nothing special. Filet mignon came out undersauced, under seasoned, and on lentils. The combination did not work well.

Overall, I enjoyed the restaurant although it did not blow me away. I plan on returning but am in no rush to do so. 85 points.

[ 06-19-2002, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
JW1

read the last two in this thread:

"Charles Nob Hill: Corkage is $25 (and the restaurant does not waive the fee if one buys a bottle off of the list."

"Chez Spencer: entrees. The restaurant has no liquor license so at present it is byob with no corkage being charged."

Looks as if Charles is really 'corkscrewing' his patrons. that is about the highest fee I have seen, for a resturant where you buy their marked up wines.

Board-O found one here that only charges $15 for a bottle that you buy at the wine shop attached, but no corkage for one off the list.

Thanks for the reviews. Very detailed and entertaining.

PS: Going out on a school night?? Did anyone have filled diapers?? [Big Grin] Was Shanew with you? [Wink]
I'm driving down to Napa today or tomorrow. I'll be there until July 1st. I'm bringing my clubs and I plan on playing at the Olympic with some friends of mine from Berkekley. I'm going to see what I can do about getting in to the French Laundry, but its going to be hard with such short notice. People do cancel their reservations however, and being on waiting lists has gotten me in to many nice restaurants on short notice.

Jones, thats too bad about the dried morels. This time of year they are very plentiful. I can get fresh morels for less than $10 a pound and fresh porcini's for $10 a pound.
I lunched at Jeanty at Jack's today. The restaurant has improved since it opened and is doing a substantially better job then before. Service was excellent. The steak tartare that at dinner seems a little much makes a perfect lunch. I would suggest however that they substitute a raw quail's egg for the chicken egg they are currently using. The chopped filet was perfectly seasoned and paired well with the spiral cone of parslied fries that came along side the tartare. a very well excecuted bistro dish well priced for the quantity and quality of ingredients at $16. A double pork chop with potatoes was a touch over cooked but was also substantial and fairly priced at $17. Because of its location, the restaurant is a better venue for lunch then dinner but overall it is restaurant worthy of repeat business. 89 points.
We will be in Bay Area/Napa the week of Aug. 10-17 and will visit a lawyer friend, perhaps others. While his firm's main office is downtown, he has an office in Marin County that he spends considerable time at as well. Any local recommendations for dining there or are the best places in downtown SF?

DrT

[ 06-20-2002, 10:30 PM: Message edited by: dr.tannin aka x-man ]
In Marin County in Larkspur, there are multiple options. If you want to go to one of the strangest yet best executed restaurants I can imagine go to Roxanne's. A fantastic wine list is available to go along with the "raw food" (cooked by sunlight etc.) Charlie Trotter is a fan of the cuisine.

Bradley Ogden's Yankee Pier is close by and is really an excellent well priced restaurant. It is Bradly Ogden's take on an upscale east coast seafood shack.

A few doors down from Yankee Pier is Bradley Ogden's flagship restaurant - The Lark Creek Inn. Superbly executed California-American cuisine. A very nice wine list including well priced rarities like 1997 Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir for $200.

My favorites restaurant in Marin County is way out in Inverness. It is worth the 20 mile drive however. Inverness is right on Tomales Bay. In Inverness, there is an old turn of the century hunting lodge called Manka's Inverness Lodge. The restaurant is open to the public. The sommelier has great wines - I mean really great wines - at reasonable prices. The food comes from only local purveyors. Five course fixed price meal. No menu you get what they are cooking that evening (a la Chez Panisse). Every dinner I have had there has been great. Ask to be seated at the Chef's table. The Chef's table is for eight and usually is filled by multiple groups of diners as opposed to a single large party. More of a tasting menu is served at the Chef's table.

For casual dining, Sam's is great to kick back at and enjoy the water.

Left Bank Larkspur is also worth a stop. It is my favorite location for Left Bank.
Chapeau in San Francisco was great! It is owned by a true food and wine lover who ran out to the street to help us park, poured us champagne while we were waiting for our table, and gave us extra wines and deserts. I haven't seen too many restaurants with this owner's attention to detail. I had the King salmon appetizer and the rack of lamb. both were excellent. Phillip, the owner also owns a wine shop and sells some the wine in the restaurant at close to net prices. The food prices are also very reasonable.
Mr. Jones: Most of my Manka's exoeriences are
from the late 70s to early 80s. Has there been a
change in ownership? They really nose-dived in the
time period above, and I recall something about the owners' son trying to take over......In the
early 70s, it was about as great a place could
be to spend a romantic evening. If it has made
a tangible come back, boy, I'll head on over there
next time I'm in the states.
And, Chapeau is indeed wonderful!
I did not experience Manka's back then but I do believe ownership of the lodge changed hands quite some time ago.

In any event, I dined at Masa's last evening. The six of us had early reservations (6 p.m.) so that we could make it to the theater. Despite the time pressure, the staff did an admirable job of coordinating the six course tasting menu. For example, when we did not have time for post dessert candies and petit fours, they packed them for us in deep blue chinese carry out boxes so that we could enjoy them during intermission. Overall, the service was excellent and it seemed that at least four people waited on our table throughout the evening. Special accolades should go to the bartender. He is one of the best in the City and provides virtually perfect seamless service every time.

The 2001 redesign of Masa's has done wonders for the space. The wine cellar seats 12 while the main dining room seats 65 (the main dining room can be taken over for private parties). Chocolate brown walls are adorned with subdued modern art. Royal Doulton china, Christofle flatware, and for our table at least Riedel stemware. Overall, the interior of the restaurant comes off as "classically modern".

Wines of the evening were 1997 Leroy Montagny Premier Cru (by the glass $18), 2000 Flower Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($85), 1997 Fonsalette Cuvee Syrah ($78), and a sparkling muscat dessert wine from Italy (gratis). My only complaint about the wine service was the assistant sommelier pouring himself a small glass of every wine ordered prior to presenting it for tasting. I hate this practice.

Three of the six of us opted for the six course tasting menu (not enough time for the nine course although from past experience that is the best thing to order while at Masa's). The other three ordered the three course tasting menu (i.e. a la carte). Two separate amuse bouches were served to all of us. The members of the party who did not order the six course menu ended up getting one anyway. The chef sent out different courses for the three so that they would have something in front of them while the rest of us were enjoying the additional courses. The six course was $79. As a result, dinner ended up consisting of eight courses plus the afore mentioned take out containers for intermission at the theater.

The first amuse bouche was a perfectly clear essence of asparagus. The peppery aspects of this grass was highlighted by this presentation. The second amuse bouche was a single Santa Barbara dayboat prawn served on top of pepper confit and chive oil - the perfect expression of summer. The first course on the tasting menu was raw wild line caught Copper River salmon with avocado and white truffle oil. Ron Siegel, the chef at Masa's (and one of the few to win the Iron Chef competition in Japan) shows his affinity for asian techiniques with this dish. The salmon showed pure clean flavors that can only come from the most fresh fish. A spectacular yet restrained first course.

The second course was the now almost cliche poached lobster (but it is so good I don't really care that it can be found on many menus) served with corn pudding and english peas. A beautifully rendered dish that recalls Siegel's stints at the French Laundry and Daniel. It matched perfectly with the Flowers. Third course was a breast of squab served with squab liver mousse and bacon jerky. Slightly whimisical but the depth of flavor was surprising. At this time I also tried an asian inspired dish of slightly steamed tuna belly (the plate actually incorporated a small steamer - another nod to the orient) with huge (at least three inches long) slices of black truffle. Another freebie dish was a cold octopus and chanterelle salad that was an amusing play on traditional "surf and turf".

The fourth course coupled a new york steak that had been cut very thick to appear like filet. The meat was topped with an entire roasted bone marrow that ran the length of the steak. The bone marrow was divine even though I knew that every bite meant another 15 minutes on the treadmill. At this time, I also sampled one of the best duck dishes I have had in a long time. Duck breast was shredded to resemble confetti along with cepes and a reduced duck stock. The plate looked so much better than the typical fanning of thin duck slices. The fifth course was blueberry sorbet and mascarpone cream - this worked well as a palate cleanser. The final course was an ethereal chocolate cake. The cheese cart was well stocked with some unusual cheeses including a natural blue cheese from France that came from a small producer who only owns six cows. The tatse of naturally occuring blue versus the more typical artificially induced was quite surprising.

Overall, the experience was very fine. Masa's has again rejoined its place as one of the best restaurants in the country. Siegel (34 years old) does not get the credit he is due - I would love for him to produce a cookbook. 95 points.

[ 06-26-2002, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
Mr. Jones, you must gather up your posts and put
out a Restaurant Guide to SF. Those are great
notes, on a par with those of Serena Jutkovsky
(I think....), who was such a great reviewer
way back in the 60s and 70s, totally uncompromising in terms of a fair review.
I thought that MASA'S had some growing pains
initially (before Masa Kobayashi's murder ),
and that Julian Serrano was good but not as
good as the press insisted. Now that I've read
your notes, I am tempted to fly back ASAP to
go there. Thanks, again!
Great review Jonesy. My wife and I had diner at Masa's on our wedding night back in the spring of 1988. Hard to believe that was 14 years ago but the experience was the same. Incredible attention to detail. I remember being served a baby lobster that was totally devoid of it's shell but 100% intact. I never figured out how they did that. I think this place might be on the schedule for our 15th anniversary.

Ciao
First I'll start out saying Fleur de Lys will reopen on July 20th.

Last night went to a new restaurant in Redwood City on the SF peninsula, called D'Asaro. Chris Fernandez is the chef. He worked with Paul Bertolli at Oliveto, so he knows his Italian. As it was a beautiful night we sat outside. Started with a glass of Prosecco, very refreshing. Mrs G had the tomato mozzarella salad and I started with butterflied shrimp with bread crumbs baked in the wood burning oven and topped with lemon oil. Both were very good. Then Mrs had the Riccotta Gnocchi and I had the roasted pork on white beans with sage. Both delicious. We drank a '97 Val di Suga Brunello di Montalchino, good but nothing exciting. Our server seemed to be in a bad mood, but performed all the neccesary functions. Will go again.
Jones, thanks again for some great reviews.

Since there are a lot of people who remember the earlier days of Masa's, can anyone remember the name of the sous chef who took over after Masa's unfortunate murder? If I remember correctly, this person did quite well and Julian Serrano had difficulty replacing him when he left.

I remember the days when getting reservations at Masa's was like getting reservations at the French Laundry now, except I think you had to call exactly 3 months ahead.
Wow. This is a great place to get information. I recorded the Chefs of San Francisco series, which had one show on Masa Kobayashi. Unfortunately it was on beta, so I kept my betamax just so that I could see these and other classics. The one thing that I remember about the session with Masa is that he always had 4 stocks going all of the time.
Really liked an Italian restaurant about 1/2 block down the street from the St. Francis, Casa-somthing or Villa-somthing. A place where you could have a nice lunch sort of an Italian bistro or trattoria.
So many choices, nice to hear Fleur de Lys will be open. Not enough time for all the options available.
The one restaurant I'm sure we'll visit is Yak Sing(??) dim sum restaurant not far from the Park Hyatt, across the street from the large parking lot by embarcadero. My wife has a thing for it.
Never been to the Campton Place, a friend told us they had a so-so experience for some reason and we were just not interested.
Gfroerer you are going to make me a hero. I'll be able to tell my wife about the move and she'll be thrilled. You've saved us a lot of frustration. Thank you!!!!
Hope she does not end up saying "it was better at the older place".
GMT thanks for the info, will try Lee Hou. If anything just to compare to Yank Sing and compare.
Gfroerer: Wasn't it great? I hate to dress up,
but I made at least two trips to SF from Fairfield
just to go there, especially for his out-of-world
Sunday Brunches. And, Lark Creek Inn was really
wonderful when it opened. Sad to hear that it
has suffered.......
Many of the "good ol' places" are sad now: SEARS "FINE" DINING, GOLDEN SPIKE, EAGLE CAFE,
JULIUS CASTLE, et al. Some of the losers were
still losers last I checked: FORNOU'S OVEN,
CARNELIAN ROOM, LE TRIANON (biggest rip-off,
next to MODESTO LANZONE'S),et al. However, Mr. Jones has the most current info and has impeccable taste, so perhaps my data is just too old.
GMT, your post reminds me of old times. Seems like we ate at some pretty good places during college, when we could not afford it. Now that we can, we hardly go out at all (except when we travel).

The Lark Creek Inn, Walnut Creek branch, was very disappointing. Good salad (although pears and candied walnuts are getting old), but the shrimp/pasta dish my wife had was dismal.

Also had a tape of the chef of Le Trianon (Roger Verge?). Was pretty famous way back (like Ernies), but the food at their peak is nothing like the great restaurants now.

I, too, am a fan of Hubert Keller and Fleur de Lys. I still remember when he was working out of a small kitchen at Sutter 500 (which was a cafe with a very small section for fine dining).

The best dim sum, in my opinion, is at Seafood Harbor in Millbrae. Even with the highly reputed Harbor Village and Fook Yuen nearby, I think it is better. Had lunch there twice with two biotech CEO's (both Chinese) and we all marvel how something simple as ha gow can be so good. Best dim sum in Silicon Valley is ABC.

Best chinese food value (great food, dismal atmosphere) in the avenues is Jumbo on Noriega (near 22nd or 23rd). Took 3 people from Japan (our distributor) and they were shocked that we had 8 mainly seafood dishes, plus an extra lobster dish for $70. We could only eat 1/2 the food since I ordered a set menu for 8 and added a dish. In the Richmond district, still tend to go to Ocean.

Funny thing is that whenever we get a chance, our treat is to get Pho (Vietnamese rice noodles). I get the large beef ($3.95) and my wife the large seafood ($4.95). We enjoy this as much as meals 10X the price.
GATC: Is the Harbor Village the huge-looking place next to a delapidated bowling alley on
a corner? This place was great, but I don't remember the name as we went there during a flight
delay at SFO on my way home to Japan. The food was
pretty good, though my dad was shocked at the prices-----my students (Japanese) were impressed.
Fook Yuen: well, the service is, as my Chinese friend called it, the "different F.Y.". The last
time I was there, the waiter got into an argument with a customer, and a semi-free-for-all resulted.
Tales to tell my grandkids, if I ever have any.....
Thanks for other tips: I have no idea when I can
return, but I will most certainly check them out!
By the way, JADE VILLAGE in Oakland has the best dimsum in the East Bay, according to (the same)
Chinese friend.
gfroerer, yes it is one block north of Fook Yuen on the same side just north of a metered parking lot. Sorry, I meant Flower Lounge in my prior reference. At a 4th of July party, I had a discussion with a well to do Chinese lady who lives in the peninsula and we argued over the best dim sum in that area (all films made in the Far East has to go through her family). She loves Flower Lounge (which can be good or great, but is overpriced IMO). We had a legal victory celebration there and we had a very good $700/table dinner that was almost as good as the $70/table at Jumbo, but the attorney's were paying for it and they had originally recommended Tommy Toy's (no comment). I'm more of a food over atmosphere person, so I'm not crazy about paying for decor (which is too gaudy for my taste anyway).

I get my pho at a little dive in the Lyon Shopping Center on Warm Springs and Dixon Landing at the border of Fremont and Milpitas. Have also had good pho from a place on Park Victoria and Calaveras (237) in Milpitas. My wife had awful pho from Oakland chinatown (they cooked the bean sprouts!). I would think the pho is best in Silicon Valley where there are hundred of thousands of Vietnamese. If I get at take out ($4.75 large seafood) for my wife, it is better than getting flowers. I tried to make it once and the rice noodle part is easy, but it takes about $15's worth of bones and 24 hours of boiling to make a $5 bowl.
GMT, gfroerer, sounds good to me. I can offer my home anytime if we want to have a get together with a lot of wines and food. The BAWE (Eric White, skwid, Lafron Rochet, js, Rhonefan, cooker are regulars) can get together with some notice. Maybe a dinner in SF would be nice as well. Lots of options. Just give us some notice and we'll plan it out.
Thought I would hijack Jones’ thread for a minute for a review of my own…

Teri and I dined at Moose’s last evening. Moose’s is located right on Washington Square in North Beach, so parking is a nightmare. Valet parking is available for $9 for three hours, with a $3/hr charge beyond that time. We were seated immediately on arriving approximately 10 minutes early for our 7:00 reservation. The restaurant was reasonably busy for a summer Tuesday evening with better than two thirds of the tables filled. The dining room is pleasantly appointed, with an open kitchen at the far end of the room, and a satisfactory noise level making dinner conversation quite easy.

Moose’s boasts a reasonably extensive wine list, with very good regional, varietal, and pricing diversity. Wine markup is about average, and corkage is a reasonable $15.00.

What drew us to Moose’s on a Tuesday evening was the fantastic deal offered right now Monday through Wednesday. Moose’s is celebrating their 10-year anniversary by offering a three-course prix fixe menu priced at $19.92. The menu changes for each of the three days offered, and represents a stunning value for this quality restaurant. Please note that Moose’s web site is not fully updated with these daily offerings – in this case, two of the three courses did not match what is listed on the web.

1st course: Squash Tempura with corn relish and mushrooms. How did they do this?? Packed with flavor, savory to the last morsel. The Tempura was impossibly light and airy containing a perfectly cooked, steaming hot little squash, served over a wonderfully flavored vinaigrette based corn relish with mushrooms and parsely. The If you think you don’t like squash this could easily change your mind. Paired well with a split of 1997 Trimbach, 'Cuvée Frederic Emile Riesling (served a bit too cold, but superb as it warmed up just a tad).

2nd course: Red wine braised veal short ribs, French green lentils, red onion relish. Perfectly prepared short ribs were fork tender, incredibly meaty, and had a rich yet delicate flavor. The lentils were just slightly undercooked for Teri, but I found the firm texture very pleasant. The components all married well to provide a harmonious flavor, with the red onion adding a nice zing to the other flavors. Surprisingly filling dish and paired will with the 1997 Dante Rivetti Barbaresco “Bricco De Neveis” that I had brought in (see comments soon in the tasting notes forum).

Finally, dessert was a lush warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, boring on the outside until you mined the decadently rich gooey chocolate filling in the center. No dessert wine, enough was enough.

Very nice meal and a bargain that’s hard to beat.
I went to Elisabeth Daniel last night. Elisabeth Daniel is a small one room restaurant located on Washington in between Sansome and Montgomery. Inexplicably, there is no valet parking service at the restaurant. The room is quite clean with muted greys and black furniture. A single backlit vase of flowers provides the only thing of interest in the room. The aesthetic sensibility of the restaurant reminds me very much of Manhattan.

Service was quite good although a bit ham handed at times. The room was about three quarters full for much of the evening. The noise level was higher than anticipated although I suspect it was elevated due to a 8 top that kept having random couples walk in to scream, giggle, hug and then leave only to be followed in by another couple that would do the same thing.

One can order a la carte (entrees in the 25 to 35 dollar range), five course menu (about three course choices within an individual course), or the chef's tasting menu. We chose the tasting menu which for seven formal courses cost $70 (a relative bargain for this type of dining). What you were served on the tasting menu was completely random and each individual course was different for each diner at the table. I applaud the portion size chosen by Daniel Patterson. This really was a tasting menu and not seven full sized courses that would tax Paul Bunyan to finish.

An amuse bouche of pheasant mousse with raspberry gastrique was pleasant to look at but nothing special on the palate. The first course consisted of a frothed warm carrot juice reduction with pickled cucumber and chiles. Sweet, sour, and light heat proved to be a pleasant combination.

A red pepper ice with roasted eggplant puree was more interesting than delicious. Salmon confit with sea grass was exquisite. Medallions of foie gras and raw duck which was then cooked in the bowl via beef and wild mushroom consomee was well done but has been done before. Lamb loin with english peas kept the feeling of season with us. Wild fraise in rose water and strawberry chutney was a very light exciting dessert. Very slightly seared tuna was suspended upwards in a lemon pepper aspic - vertical cuisine at its finest. Sevruga caviar and crawfish flan was marred by the excessive use of salt. A deep chocolate tartwas silky, decadent and restrained at the same time.

One cheese course consisted of perfectly mature red hawk with candied walnuts. This now classic (or cliche) combination was enlivened by the use of cinnamon on the walnuts. the combination worked beautifully along with a glass of Riesling Auslese 98 (did not catch the producer)($18.75 for 3 ounces). The other cheese course was a aged goat and was rather pedestrian and non descript.

The palate cleanser was a telicherry peppercorn ice with mint essence. I loved the pepper ice.

Corkage is $30. As a result, I ordered from the list. Overall, the list has decent prices considering the level of cuisine (SQN E-Raised 4257, Araujo 97 $247, Dalle Valle 97 $275). Extensive verticals of Guigal Cote Rotie single vineyards were available. Half bottle selections could stand some improvement. Every glass in the restaurant including the water glasses were Reidel. Plates were by Bernaudaud. Can't complain about these choices.

We started with a half bottle of 1992 Chateau Fuisse Pouilly Fuisse. 92 was a great year for white Burgundy. This wine is at its peak but could easliy last in half bottles for a few more years. Lots of racy and evolved Chardonnay flavors of minerals and steel. Reminded me quite a lot of Puligny. $57 for the half bottle. 89 points.

The red of the evening was a 1985 Cote Rotie Les Jumelles from Jaboulet ($157). Wine service was well done. The wine was decanted tableside on a cart. The cork came out soaked through so all of us were concerned about the bottle. The sommelier did not taste the wine beforehand. This mature wine (can hold for another five years tops) showed developed ethereal flavors of leather, red fruits, slight pepper and some smoke. on the palate, the tannins ahd turned silky and gave one what one is looking for when they lay Cote Rotie down for an extended sleep. Age had turned the wine in to something closer to Pinot than Syrah. The maturity of the wine allowed it to pair well with most of the rather unusual courses that were put in front of it. 90 points.

Overall, Daniel Patterson is continuing to perform at a high standard despite his recent troubles with Elisabeth. More daring cuisine than can be found at other restuarants in the Bay Area. Some courses don't always sing but they are always interesting. More intellectual than hedonistic. Less "wows" but lots of "hey I am stealing this idea". 91 points.

ps I tried to max the tip at $20 for a bottle of wine but my fiance said I was a cheapskate for trying to lower the overall percentage in that manner. I always agree with limiting a tip on wine in theory but in practice it is tougher to do.

[ 07-12-2002, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
I dined at Chenery Park on Tuesday night.

Chenery Park is located in the "downtown" area of Glen Park, a less than desirable neighborhood of San Francisco. Chenery Park was opened about a year ago by an alumni from Boulevard. Cuisine is comfort food that claims to be oriented to the Southeast. The space is three levels and very open and inviting. Prices are generally between 15 and 22 dollars for an entree.

Service was very poor. The red haired harpy that runs the front of the room needs lots of work. For a party of five, we were seated at 9.15 with 8.30 reservations. Food was mediocre at best. Fried catfish was cut to resemble Gordon's fishsticks. Gumbo was a thin slick of red sauce with two shrimp and a half cup of under cooked rice. Double cut porkchop with bacon mashed potatoes was very tasty and worth the $17 they cahrged for it. All of the specials of the evening were sold out by the time we got seated - however they didn't tell us this until 10 minutes after we put or order in to the kitchen.

The wine list had about 100 selections of decently priced but banal selections. Corkage was $15 on the Turley Zin Toffanelli 1999 I brought into the restaurant. Given that the restaurant is in San Francisco, the wine list really needs some work.

Overall, this place could be pretty good if everything worked. Unfortunately, they don't. Glen Park is so starved for a decent restaurant of this level that the restaurant owners do not need to put any effort in to improving their business. Not recommended. 78 points. The last time I had such a poor dining experience was at Bacar, by far the worst high priced restaurant in the City.
Last night I dined at Delfina. Delfina is on 18th in the middle of Guerrero and Dolores in the Mission district of San Francisco. The restaurant does not offer valet service and parking is difficult in this area. I recommend taking the taxi.

Delfina opened a few years back as a very small restaurant offering California/Italian cuisine. Two years ago it took over the business next door and now there is a little more elbow room. Despite the addition the restaurant is still usually packed and requires reservations at least a few weeks ahead of time.

The restaurant is clean and modern styled. Lots of Blair on the walls. They have done a good job of hiding what was here before.

The wine list only offers about 60 selections but they are well chosen and reasonably priced. Corkage is $15 per bottle. We brought in a 99 Beaux Freres Estate Pinot Noir and a 98 Martinelli Blue Slide however we could just as easily have gotten wines one would want to drink off the list.

Service was attentive, friendly and excellent. Items were brought (such as extra glasses so that the wines could be tasted side by side) before we even asked for them. The waiter had tasted many of the things on the menu that day and was able to assist some of the more timid diners into finding things they would like.

Based on last night's menu the retaurant is morphing into slightly more cutting edge cuisine. Prices at this restaurant are very reasonable for this level of cuisine. Entrees were almost all in the high teens. Appetizers were usually in the high single digits. I started with a fritto misto consisting of five main ingredients all of which start with the letter B. The playful twist was well executed with very light almost greaseless frying technique displayed. Beans, Breast of poussin (?), Blossom (Zucchini), and a B leafy green vegetable I don't remember the name of were very enjoyable. However the sine qua non of the dish was the fifth B - Bunny Brains. Whole deep fried rabbit brains were exquisite in texture. Soft and creamy on the inside with sage overtones coupled with the crispy outer shell. Someyhing I would order again. $12 for this course and that was the most expensive appetizer available. Halibut in caper butter ($17) was well done but the portion was small. Two squabs with squab liver crostini brought me back to italy the falvors were so true ($21).

Overall, I highly recommend Delfina. Prices are very reasonable, service excellent, the wine list a perfect example of how a small list can still be interesting, and well done cuisine. But for its location (I live on the other side of the City) I would be a regular. 92 points.

[ 07-17-2002, 09:49 AM: Message edited by: JonesWineNo1 ]
Usurping the thread....

Went to "The Dinning Room" at the Ritz Carlton Hotel here in San Francisco wednesday evening with a couple of friends. There were a total of four of us and we brought three bottles. We were informed when we sat down that they only allowed two bottles per group to be brought in. So the 1988 Krug Clos Mesnil would have to wait until the next evening to be consumed (they had it on the list anyways so we probably wouldn't have been able to consume it). So we were "stuck" with a 1970 La Mission Haut Brion and a 1989 Haut Brion.

The Menu is in two pieces, a 3/4/5 course tasting menu and a Prix Fixe. There is also a "Chef's Degustation" menu. We ordered the Chef's Degustation and picked a white Burgundy (1980 something Puligy Montrachet from Lefaive IIRC). The Degustation menu is not necessarily fixed so we asked to get them to match food to the wines we had brought and bought. I don't recall alot about the food, it didn't seem as good as the last time I was there. Here is what I do remember. The first course was a seafood salad for myself and the other gentleman. The Ladies got tomatos served five ways. The second to last course was from the Cheese cart and went quite well with the Sauterne we picked out. We were allowed to pick several cheeses and there was a very helpful "cheese dude" to explain the cheeses (a nice Irish fellow, one of the Ladies pointed this out and he said "extra cheese for you"). The last course was some chocolate, how it was prepared I don't recall but it was pretty good (I'm not one who particularly likes chocolate).

Wine service was very good until the Sauterne. They had Speigelau glassware as is pretty standard for restaurants in San Francisco. The Haut Brion was decanted while we were drinking the Lefaive, the La Mission was just opened and not decanted.

Toward the end of the meal we ordered a Sauterne (the name escapes me). This is were the wine service got a bit odd. We were given glasses there were like small champagne flutes. This seemed a bit odd so we requested some chardonnay glasses so we could get the full aroma of the wine. These were immediately brought to the table and used.

Cost for the meal was $100/plate for the Degustation menu, $280 for the Lefaive and $190 for the Sauterne. Overall a nice evening but the food was a bit disappointing from what I remember last time. I was expecting something really great and it didn't live up to it. Service was great as I remember from last time. It was fairly quiet so conversations could be held easily. I would consider this a place to go if you really want to splurge. If it was "on" like the first time I went then it is a definite. If not then I would recomend something else as there are plenty of places in the San Francisco area to get great food (but typically not as good of service).
It was wonderful to step into the new Fleur de Lys the other night.
The new floor design is great with the bar now on the right side
as you enter. There is a new private room where the old bar was,
and it is beautiful, lined with wine storage and a fireplace.
We were greeted warmly as always and proceeded to the main dining
area. The menu is different now with you choosing from different
sections to create a 3, 4 or 5 course dinner. But first Chef Keller
sent out two amuse bouches, the first a spoon of lobster with a
carrot-cardamon gelee. Then he sent out a single malpeque oyster
with casino butter...wow both were great and both were getting
us hungry. Then some of the first courses (there were 3 of us),
Foie Gras 2 ways...one on a mini "hamburger" and one in a Baekeoffe.
Crayfish salad with corn, and quail with choucroute, all fantastic.
Then second course we all had the day boat scallop with caviar
on a blini with buttery leeks. The main courses were Monk fish
with serrano ham and figs, skate and squid ink pasta and veal loin
with truffles. We had a trio of desserts which were great and warm
fresh madelines with coffee and calvados. You can't do any better
than that. But we did, afterwards Hubert Keller showed us around
the new interior and then sat with us and told us of the hassles
involved with reopening the restaurant.
Reopening was not a foregone conclusion. A couple
times Hubert was ready to pack it all in. Thank goodness he stayed
in there fighting the city. Good news also, he has not abandoned
the idea of a Brasserie. He is waiting for the right location and
better economic times. To us he seems re-energized and is cooking
better than ever. Go there yourself, you will love it. Oh yeah the wine! We started with Veuve Cliquot NV, then had a '97 Kistler Durell, and finished with a '94 Leoville Barton.

[ 09-22-2002, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: gfroerer ]
In July I celebrated my 40th birthday at Restaurant Gary Danko. Bumping this thread has prompted me to publish my notes.

I haven't had a dinner experience like this since I was in Paris. It was almost worth turning 40....

The restaurant is located one block from Ghirardelli Square, in an old house that looks pretty run-down from the outside. But when you step inside, it's a completely different world -- all shiny wood, plush leather, soft lighting and, unlike the tourists outside, everyone is dressed up. The effect is shocking, like a science-fiction film where you step through a portal into a different dimension.

Although the atmosphere was ultra-fancy, it was not stuffy. The staff were all very friendly, and the table next to us was celebrating a birthday by wearing silly hats and being merry.

The decor and the menu are chic American, but the service was totally European -- our table was tended by no fewer than 4 waiters at once, and our dinner lasted over three hours, with long pauses between each course. (I must say this is not a bad thing. Since moving back here to America I always feel rushed in restaurants. One time I was in a place that brought out our main courses before we had even finished the appetizers. I prefer European service; they allow you to enjoy the dinner and some conversation.)

I had a martini while perusing the menu and the staggering wine list, which comes in a leather-bound book with a table of contents. Then we were served an amuse-bouche: a chilled asparagus-puree soup, with olive oil and marinated raw scallops. Very delicate, and a subtle-yet-firm demonstration of Mr. Danko's talents.

Dinner was a five-course meal that went from fish to meat to dessert. For the fish courses we drank a 1998 German riesling (sorry the name is lost!), which was a bit too sweet for my taste, but my friend enjoyed it. For the meat courses we had Chateau Pavie 1995 -- which is not a great wine, but it was appropriately delicate and light to match the food, and did not require a home equity loan. (I resisted the temptation to order the Chateau Latour 1926, which was available on the menu for $5,000. [Eek!] I think I'll save that wine for when I win the lottery.)

First Course: Risotto with lobster and black truffles. The lobster was soft and sweet, and the truffles addictive as always. We could taste the distinct flavors of each ingredient, but they also came together beautifully, playing games on the tongue. At this point in the meal we seriously discussed the possibility of eating here every night, or at least getting a standing reservation once a week.

Second Course: Seared ahi tuna. It was a rectangular block of tuna that had been rolled in black peppercorns and seared in sesame oil, warm on the outside, raw on the inside, sitting on a bed of greens and carrots. The fish would melt in your mouth, leaving the crunch of the peppercorns, and was sublime when washed down with the riesling.

The third course (sort of the main course, I guess) was a garlic- and soy-glazed filet of beef, tender enough to be cut with a fork, served with green beans and potatoes au gratin. The flavor of the beef was so intense, I was at a loss for words. I'm not sure if this is because it was the first beef I had eaten in several months, but it was just incredible.

The fourth course was an assortment of cheeses. Just like in Paris, they wheeled a cart to our table that was practically a cheese shop, and cut pieces of the ones we chose. We had a goat cheese from Spain, a sheep milk cheese from France, a 2-year-old cheddar from Canada that was marvelous, and a beer-soaked soft cheese made by Belgian monks. Spectacular.

The fifth course was dessert. I had a lemon tart with fresh blueberries and strawberries; my friend had an incredible chocolate souffle with a chocolate sauce and a creme anglaise. The souffle was like a cloud.

This was a very memorable meal that has now increased by desire to go back to Paris. It is expensive, even by San Francisco standards, but definitely a good choice to celebrate a special occasion.
Moved from its own topic since it fits better here.

Went to The Slanted Door in San Francisco Thursday night. We left a bar after the 6th inning of the world series game and were able to be seated immediately. For those of you who haven't been to the restaurant in awhile things have changed. They are no long in the Mission and are currently located at 100 Brannan which is at Embarcadero and Brannan. The new space is much larger than the old space. We were seated at a community table but there was plenty of space between parties so this was not a problem. There were two of us and we had four total dishes. Things are served family style so they encourage sharing of the dishes. The menu is divided into about five sections, appetizers, salads and salads, meats, seafood, and vegie. This division is not well labeled and we had to ask our server about this (the different sections are just indented differently on the menu).

We had the following:

Spring Rolls with peanut sauce: There were two spring rolls each about 6 inches long and these were then sliced in four pieces for easy eating with fingers. The rolls are tightly wrapped so they do not fall apart if you bite into one. The peanut sauce is fantastic with a bit of spice to it. There were shrimp and a bit of meat (pork?) along with rice and a couple of greens (leafy type stuff). I'd recommend this dish.

The second item we had was the Hot and Sour soup. We got one order of this and they brought it to the table already served in two bowls. This was the spicest dish of the meal and the soup was served hot. There were vegatables mixed through the soup (mostly squash). The vegies weren't overcooked and squished, they still had some firmness to them which I thought was very good. Another good dish if you like hot and spicy soups.

The final two items we had were the Shaking Beef (a signature dish) and Onion Glazed Shrimp. These were brought to the table at the same time. The Shaking Beef is filet migion cut into cubes and cooked rare. It just melts in your mouth. This comes with a lemon peper dipping sauce which in small quantities is good but too much can make the meat seem a bit tart. The Shrimp was very delightful with the onion glaze on it and various small strips of onion on the dish. It came on a leaf of lettuce which was damp and wilted (from the onion glaze it looked like). I didn't eat the lettuce. The onions added a nice flavor to the shrimp and the glaze was a bit sweet which was nice after the tartness of the lemon dip used with the beef dish. The Shaking Beef is a must have if you are a carnivore and the Onion Glazed Shrimp is also very well done.

The wine list is fairly small, about 40 selections or so. Pricing seemed fair to me without the huge markups typical of most restaurants. The list is heavily weighted toward whites as that is what will go best with most of the food (which typically has some spicyness). We had a bottle of 2001 J. & H.A. Strub Niersteiner Brucken Riesling Kabinett. This had 9.5% Alc which seems high for a Kabinett to me. There was a fair amount of sweetness in the wine which nicely offset the spicyness of the food. Cost was $29 with a half bottle available for $17.

The beer list on the other hand is fairly large and has several Belgian and Belgain style beers on it (along with other regional favorites like Anchor Steam and Sierra Neveda). If you like Belgian beers this is a good place to stop.

Service was a bit slow at first but picked up. The courses were nicely spaced and it didn't seem like they were in a hurry to get rid of us (although it started to fill up once the game was over).

Overall I'd recommend The Slanted Door to someone who wants to try some sophisticated southeast Asian cuisine. If you go make sure you get the Shaking Beef.
to gusbo,
don't bother with charles, unless it's nob hill crowd you are dying to dine with.food is good,but it's not rons cooking.they do take out, though. 5th floor is not a contender either. head straight to danko's, the food is as close to perfect as can be and NO, IT DOESN'T REMIND OF PARIS., thank god. it is a SanFran experience, totally.(i like when people compare everything to paris or tuscany, as you can tell, but thats anoter topic entirely) enjoy, but watch out when order by glass, i caught bartender subing champagnes- nv for v. good luck.

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